Best Restaurant In Coral Gables (2000)


"He must not be allowed to win this award again next year," is what we said last year, after Mr. Van Aken won this category for the third time in a row. But how could he not? Consultant stints may have spread Norman's name thinner of late, but his body and soul never left this Gables institution, the only place to sample the real deal. Norman has a knack for seamlessly blending seemingly outrageous New World ingredients into his dishes -- whether that be truffle ice, sherry foam, pomegranate-ancho drizzle, or wasabi-coconut sabayon -- while remaining true in spirit to Escoffier's classic Old World cooking. Same can be said for the overall dining experience here: contemporary, classic, and refreshing in every way possible. Here's a new pledge. Next year we might be changing the wording to "Best Restaurant in Coral Gables Besides Norman's," which, in itself, will be recognition of just how excellent this place really is.


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